by Robert Bell
OK, so one of the bona fide megastars of country music is coming back to Verizon Arena, and aside from all the hit songs everybody wants to hear him play, there's another topic that's gotta be on everybody's mind: Is Brad Paisley gonna address The Great Collegiate Doormat Spat of 2011?
This is the first time he's been to Arkansas since that whole incident. To recap: his tourmates, Arkansas natives Eden's Edge, absconded with the singer's "BELOVED" West Virginia doormat and replaced it with a Razorbacks doormat. Paisley and his bros torched said Arkansas mat. Video footage of this hit the web and got Hog Nation all riled up way beyond what was called for (shocking, I know).
Paisley sought to clear things up by placing his act of arson in the proper context, i.e., as the natural and proper escalation of a prank war and not an explicit act of blasphemy against the Hogs. He tweeted thusly: "If they had placed a Crimson Tide, or Vols, or Buckeyes, or you name it — mat there, that is what I would have burned. It was not personal," and later offered this fig leaf: "In closing, I will be rooting for the Razorbacks this year. Lord knows you have a better shot at the title than we do. May you win em all."
Well, Paisley's BELOVED West Virginia football team is now sitting at No. 5 in the nation after knocking off the Longhorns in Austin last weekend. And the Hogs are... well, we all know where the Hogs are. But hey, it's not Paisley's fault. It was just a simple prank, right?
Surely that act of Hog mat immolation didn't somehow directly start the chain of events that led to the collapse of the Razorbacks and the ascension of the Mountaineers, right? But just to be safe, maybe we should try to get Paisley to burn an LSU doormat. If he won't do it, maybe openers The Band Perry or Scotty McCreery will give it a go.